Four tips for new graduates who are interviewing for jobs

Graduating from college and earning a degree is exhilarating.  It not only proves your dedication and value to the professional world, but it gives you the knowledge, skills, and confidence to enter the workforce.

As a new grad, however, you may be understandably nervous about the competition for jobs.  Job hunting is stressful, but there are several things you can do to increase your odds of finding a job, and hopefully starting your dream career.

1.  Know standard salary range

One of the biggest mistakes women make in the workforce is not understanding their value, and worse, of undervaluing their own contributions.  You have just as much to give to any position as a male counterpart, and you should be paid equally based on education, experience, and any complementary skillsets.  Start by looking up average salaries for any position you’re applying for so you don’t end up settling for insufficient compensation. PayScale has some fantastic resources, such as their Salary Survey, to help you get started.

2.  Work your network

It is often said that who you know is just as important as what you know, keep this front of mind when you’re job hunting after graduation.  Tapping into the networks of people you know can literally help you to get a foot in the door.  With little to no experience to recommend you for positions, you might have some trouble competing.  Don’t hesitate to ask people you know if they know people who can help make referrals or recommendations to help you with your job search.

3.  Do your homework

Companies would always rather have employees that already understand what they do and believe in what they stand for.  In order to get a leg up in interviews, make sure to research the companies you want to apply at.  Understanding their products and their mission gives you the tools to speak intelligently about the role you will play in moving the company forward.

4.  Sell yourself

Hiring an employee is like making a purchase.  Companies have many options to choose from – why should they pick you?  Nobody wants to be categorized as packaged goods, but when you approach hiring in this way, you can begin to look at yourself as a marketable commodity, and this can help you to determine what makes you stand out from the pack, and why you’re the best person for any position you apply for.

Selling yourself means being able to speak confidently about what you can bring to a job and a company and why you would be a stellar asset.  In a nutshell, companies are spending money to make money, and their employees are a big part of the equation.  How can you contribute with your knowledge, experience, and personality?  If you can’t sell yourself, employers aren’t likely to buy, so take time to work on your elevator pitch and proof points that show what you have to offer.

Post by Sarah Harris

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